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Pro-life groups welcome overturning of forced abortion ruling

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'The horrific original ruling should never have happened'

Pro-life groups have welcomed the decision of the Court of Appeal overturning a mandatory abortion for a woman with a “moderately severe” learning disorder.

In a statement released by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, Bishop John Sherrington welcomed the ruling and said “It is both astonishing and shocking that the NHS should seek to end a healthy pregnancy against the wishes of the pregnant woman, her mother, and her social worker.”

“Forcing a woman to have an abortion against her will, and that of her close family, would have infringed her human rights, and the right of her unborn child to life in a family that has committed to caring for this child. In a free society like ours there is a delicate balance between the rights of the individual and the powers of the state and the initial ruling upset that balance. I am therefore pleased that the recent ruling has taken the woman’s best interests into account and has upheld her rights in this case.

Right to Life UK also welcomed the decision saying “the horrific original ruling should never have happened.”

The group is “calling on the Department of Health to urgently reveal how many women have been forced by a hospital to have an abortion against their will in the UK over the last 10 years and make it clear how they will ensure it will not happen again.”

On Friday, the Court of Protection, issued a decision mandating the woman, who has the mental capacity of a child between the ages of six and nine, have an abortion.

Justice Nathalie Lieven believed the mother “would suffer greater trauma from having a baby removed” and adopted than from an abortion, and therefore found it “in the best interests” of the 22-week pregnant woman to have an abortion.

Acknowledging the “unique” nature of the case, the three-judge panel of the Court of Appeal said they would release the reasons for their ruling at a later date.